Our photos mean the world to us. Photos of our loved ones, our travels, the moments that change us, we all love to document our world around us. And thanks to Instagram and photo apps such as VSCO cam, we are able to capture the small moments that make up our days and weeks. These photos are random, but to me, they are the very best, because they help me to remember the small moments, all of them.
As much as I love adventure and have a great love for travel, I am also a homebody at heart. Some weekends, I love nothing more than to do nothing with the people I love. Grabbing lunch at our favourite cafe (where they have the very best falafels), driving the country roads by our home, talking about our future dreams and plans, random stops to the beaches that surround Vancouver Island. Even a stop at the local nursery that resulted with us leaving with only a pot and some fancy grass, when we had planned on so much more. To say we have to work on our ‘green thumbs’ some more would be an understatement. Though some weekends, that’s all you can ask for.
Your 25th birthday has come and gone. And as I look back on all the years that have passed, I can not help but feel so blessed that I have been able to see you change from a 19-year-old boy to a 25-year-old man. I am so proud of the person you have become. You make every day sweeter. I hope you (we) have a year full of love, travels, and new adventures and that you know how much I adore you.
I am ten years older than her, my sister, and yet I somehow manage to learn something new from her everyday. She has a heart full of dreams and hopes and a soul full of fun and laughter. She makes my heart so happy, and everyday I watch her grow more and more. We went to Starbucks and she ordered her usual white hot chocolate. I told her to wear a warmer coat, and she told me she would be warm enough. She was wrong, of course. The sun was setting down and the ocean breeze made for a cold walk along the beaches of Campbell River. We don’t get to spend as much time together as we would like to these days, so we take what we can get. Short sunset walks and hot chocolate.
The sun was out and we drove up Island for coffees. We stopped at Coombs to take some photos and with only a few frames taken, we were both frozen, and our hands were numb. Yes, the sun was out, and yet so was the cold winds that normally grace Vancouver Island. We drove on to one of my favourite cafes nestled between the shops of Qualicum Beach. She ordered a caramel macchiato and a carrot cake. I ordered a chai latte topped with nutmeg and a bowl of homemade granola. We held our hot cups to warm our hands, and talked about everything. Dreams, loves, needs. It was a simple day, though a great day. Here’s to more days consumed of sun, coffees, and spontaneous photos.
A lot has happened over the months that make up the year of 2011. We went to New Zealand. Spent many weekends over on The Sunshine Coast. Countless lunches. Sunny Summer days that lead us to nowhere other than together. Hot cups of tea. Cold spoonfuls of Raspberry Lemon gelato. We carved our pumpkins that we got from our local farmers market. We spent days surrounded by the beaches of Tofino, our happy place.
Hours spent talking about our dreams, our future travels, our soon to be house. Many moments full of laughter and pure contentment at where I am. There were also moments of heartache, and complete agony. When Molly had to have her surgery, when I felt as though I could not help her. Those moments were followed by overwhelming amounts of gratefulness, knowing how strong she has been. Those moments have changed me. Forever. I am stronger now, more aware, and I make a point to breathe more. I have learned how hard some obstacles can be, and how the people who really love you, are always there for you, no matter what. I am so grateful for these people and I am full of hope for what has yet to come for me.
2011, thanks for some truly great moments, and though I could have done without the really bad ones, I am sure they happened for a reason. 2012, I have lots of plans for you and I.
Happy New Year.
I usually write a post about Christmas and how I can hardly contain myself as Christmas Eve approaches. Surrounded by our loved ones, good food, and all things festive. Cozied up by the hot coals of the burning fireplace with a mug of something warm in hand. We have our new PJs on as we watch a Christmas show though I am usually consumed by the magic of what is my Moms Christmas tree.
The tree, completely covered in hundreds of twinkling lights and the most beautiful glass ornaments from many Christmas pasts, has been something I look forward to every year. After hours of spending time with my loved ones and devouring all the snacks and desserts my Mom has put out, we lay our heads to sleep so that ‘Santa Claus’ can come.
I am usually the first one to wake on Christmas morning, and though some may want more sleep, they have come to accept my tradition of an early Christmas morning. While I await for everyone to wake themselves up, I make myself a cup of hot tea and curl up on the floor between the tree and the fireplace. Yes, the perfect spot to open presents, one of the perks of being up before anyone else!
One by one we hand out our presents to each other and though I love a present here and there, I absolutely love the moment when they open the presents I have chosen for them.
Presents are open, paper wrap awry, and we have all made way to the kitchen. We help Mom make a breakfast, you can always count on the smell of something delectable filling the house.
We talk, we eat, and we prepare for what will be an amazing family feast later that evening. I often wonder what a Christmas feast would be without my Moms creamy mashed potatoes and cranberry stuffing followed by some warm pumpkin pie. All of these small traditions are what make up Christmas for me.
When we have children of our own one day, these are the moments I hope to share with them. Of course there are new traditions, new people who enter our lives and we will create new memories to add to the old ones. Sorta like playing The She and Him Christmas album all day long.
The past couple of months leading to Christmas have been harder for me than the past years. My French Bulldog, Molly , had to go through a lot, she had to have back surgery done and spend a couple of months after laying low while she recovers.
To be honest, there were moments when I felt so helpless and sad. The mere though of Christmas approaching made me completely bummed because, well , I was stressed, and I was hanging on by a thread. Nothing felt like Christmas. Though, as I write this post, only 4 days away from my beloved Christmas Eve, I could not be more happy. I could not be more grateful. Yes, the past couple of months have been harder than I am used to, but we are all healthy and we are all together. Theres not much else I could ever ask for.
I hope you all have a Christmas full of family and your loved ones. May you consume yourselves with love and laughter, old traditions and new. And may you have a mug of something warm, some creamy mashed potatoes and of course, some desserts!
To say it has been awhile since I last blogged would be an understatement. And unfortunately my need to write down my feelings comes from a place of sadness.. fear.. and heartbreak. For those of you who follow my blog you most certainly have seen a photo or two of my French Bulldog Molly. 3 and a half years ago a 5 pound baby Frenchy stole my heart and changed my world. I loved her in a way I had never loved before. Motherly love. Mama bear protects her baby bear sort of love. A love of knowing I would do anything to keep her safe and happy.
A couple of years ago Molly had some back troubles and was diagnosed with a few back conditions common with French Bulldogs. As saddened as we were to hear the news.. she quickly recovered and was back to her normal self. We thought everything was ok and that she was healthy and happy. This all quickly changed last Sunday when we noticed she seemed to be in great discomfort and the following day was unable to walk for more than 30 seconds without having to sit down. We knew right away her back was acting up. She had X-rays done and saw there was inflammation on her back and we were referred to see a neurosurgeon in Vancouver to have a better look at her.
We caught the 6:30 ferry over to Vancouver and prepared ourselves for what was about to come next. An hour consult later with our Molly and we were told the very news we had prayed not to hear. Even though she was not in much pain now Molly had herniated a disc which was now interfering with her spinal cord. Her case is mild and only has a slightly slower reflex on her back paw. Many dogs and many French Bulldogs who are affected by a herniated disc end up paralyzed. Mollys brother Oslo herniated a disc which lead to paralysis. I am more than happy to say he has recovered and has been doing rehab. www.ouroslo.wordpress.com
Molly was lucky. We have been advised to have a preventative surgery done now so she does not have to go through a larger herniation and perhaps paralysis. We could also take her home and have her be confined for months and do no surgery though her play days would forever be gone. No more long walks through the snow.. or playing fetch at the beach.. no more wrestling with her pals. She deserves more than that. She deserves for me to fight for her to healthy and happy. She goes for her surgery Wednesday morning. How we can afford a 10,000 $ surgery?! Who really knows. Theres no choice when you love your pup more than you can say. Our whole lives outside of Molly will be on hold for some time to come. And her recovery will be our sole focus. I wonder how I am going to have the strength to kiss her pudgy face and tell her Mamas with you before she goes for surgery. Feels so surreal. How do you French Bulldog moms deal with all of these heartbreaks?! And to all you mamas of your children who have to go through health scares and problems.. my hands to you. You must have a unmaginable strength.
I know in my heart of hearts we are doing what Molly needs. And I know shes lucky to be able to have preventative surgery rather than the alternative. I am scared though. Broken. And would really appreciate your prayers for my baby Molly. I know she would love you all for them.. as would I. Updates to come. xo